Sunday, September 17, 2017

The Phone Call

Letter from Sept 11, 2017

Hello, Friends :)

This week has been a pretty good one! It's also been super short since we had our last preparation day on Wednesday. It's been a while since I have been able to write a decent and detailed weekly email, so there is a lot of stuff that has happened that I could talk about. Hopefully I will be able to hit the important stuff haha :)

So, this week has been a lot of meetings and preparing for meetings. We had Mission Leadership Council on Friday which ran from 9:30 until around 4:30ish. I always love being able to learn from the leadership of the mission! It helps a lot to be able to see what is happening in other zones and figure out what we can do differently to help the missionaries we are over.

Due to the meetings and planning we have been doing this last week, we haven't had as much time as I would like to get out and find some solid investigators. We have been praying that we would be able to find some time. This week, we have had 2 or 3 solid investigators literally fall into our laps! Just yesterday, we were about to start our morning planning when we get a call from an unrecognized phone number. We answered it, and it was a Jewish man who believes in Christ and has already read up to Alma 42 in the Book of Mormon and LOVES it! We talked with him over the phone for about an hour and a half trying our best to answer his questions. He has some pretty legit questions!!! Due to his busy work schedule, he said he wouldn't be able to meet in person this week. So, we are going to have a video chat or phone call lesson tomorrow morning! Miracles! 

Another miracle is that Jacob's mom let him come to church yesterday!!!! That was amazing! But the miracle doesn't end there. So, yesterday the YSA stake we are a part of had a stake conference where President Russell M. Nelson came and spoke. Sadly, we were not able to attend... BUT Happy and Mikee (Jacob's older sisters who are recent converts) were able to make it! They took Jacob with them and guess who tagged along?!?!?!? THEIR MOM!!!!!!!!!! I couldn't believe it when Jacob told us she went with them! Their Mom is super against the church, and the fact that she went to the TEMPLE grounds to listen to an APOSTLE is a miracle!!!!! Looks like Jacob might be able to be baptized sooner than we had thought he could. We are even having a lesson with Jacob AT HIS HOUSE this week! That's HUGE!!!!! Wow, I am so grateful for Heavenly Father helping to soften her heart this week :) Please keep Jacob and his Mom in your prayers!

Another miracle is John. John is one of our new investigators who was also given to us straight from Heavenly Father! So, about a month and a half ago the YSA sisters found him sitting on the front steps of the church building. They talked with him and offered to show him around the inside of the building. He agreed and they showed him the chapel and the baptismal font and some other things. Nothing really came of it until just recently. One day, John just randomly showed up for sacrament meeting saying he wanted to see firsthand what Mormons believe and practice!! One of the members talked with him and introduced him to us. We took him through the rest of church and he said he really enjoyed it and wanted to learn more from us! We have now taught him three times and he LOVES the scriptures! He has very in depth questions which luckily we have been able to answer using the scriptures :) He has been to church two times now, and plans to continue attending! Heavenly Father is definitely taking the reins on our finding! 

Well, that's about all I have time for this week! I am so grateful for all the amazing things I am learning on my mission. I can honestly say that my mission has changed my life and continues to shape me every day! I love it and I love this gospel! I hope you all have an incredible week. Love you all!

Elder Snell

Monday, August 28, 2017

Didn't Even Have Time to Think of A Subject..

Hey, everyone! :)

Wow, I am really good at procrastinating this whole emailing thing hahaha. I will try to cram what I can in the email within the 15 minutes I have left. "We have our heading. Here we GOOOOOOO!"

This week has been such an amazing blessing! I have grown so much this week alone and my testimony of the gospel has been strengthened tenfold! I love the Lord so much for the incredible things I have been blessed with. I am definitely not deserving of what He has given me, but I am truly grateful for it.

So, the best part of this week has been teaching Jacob! Jacob is Happy and Mikee's 10 year old brother. He is literally one of my most favorite people on the planet. Jacob was told by a pastor that his sisters were following Lucifer and that they don't love God. He wasn't very happy with that, so Jacob decided to investigate the truth for himself. He asked Happy and Mikee if he could come to their next lesson with the missionaries to learn for himself where the truth is. We met with Jacob on Tuesday morning where we taught him the Restoration. We first talked all about how much God loves him and knows him. Jacob loves Heavenly Father so much and said that he knows that because He gave him such an amazing family. We talked about how by following Jesus Christ, we can live with our families forever. He loved that! We talked about prayer and how it helps us get closer to God. We talked a lot about how we can receive answers to our prayers from the Holy Ghost. Jacob absolutely loved what we shared with him about all of that and about Joseph Smith asking God which church was true. 
A couple days later, we had another lesson with Jacob where we gave him the Children's Book of Mormon. As of right now, just under a week later, he has read the entire thing and has all the stories memorized! His favorite story is Korihor! I love him so much! Jacob even invited 2 of his friends to one of our lessons where we taught the Plan of Salvation! They all loved it and after we finished talking about the kingdoms of glory, Jacob asked if HE could teach his friends about the Restoration of the gospel through Joseph Smith. That was an incredible moment. 
Jacob came to church yesterday and LOVED it so much! He retaught ME the Plan of Salvation during sacrament meeting hahaha. At the end of church he hugged us goodbye about 6 or 7 times. I love him so much! I am praying so hard that his Mom will have her heart softened to the gospel and desire to learn for herself some day. 

I love you all so much! A lot more happened this week, but time is super super super short. Have an amazing week!

Elder Snell

P.S. I will send pictures next week. Sorry! Just know that Jacob is the cutest little Filipino boy you will ever meet! 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Happy Day for Happy & Mikee!!

August 21st, 2017

Hello, Friends! :)

Wow, this week was a busy one! I doubt I am going to be able to fit it all in one email. So, I have decided that I will attempt to pick out the best/most important parts for you to read. I will try to keep this short and to the point :) oh...also, I just realized I left some stuff out of my email from last week, so I will shortly explain that stuff as well. Alright, here we go :)

Stuff from Last Week
Last Friday, we had a baptism for Daniella (YSA Sister's investigator)!!! WAHOO!! It was super awesome to see the branch pull together to make her baptismal service a very special event for her. Every part of the program was taken care of by the members. John Howard conducted and baptized, Faith and Annie did a musical number, Martin gave the talk on baptism, etc. It was fantastic! 
Mikee & Happy's younger brother turned 10 last week and they invited us to come get some food for his birthday party. We stopped by for a bit and they had a TON of food!!! They legit ordered an entire pig and had tray after tray of Filipino food. It was delicious! One of the dishes (not as delicious as others...) was pork chunks soaked in pig blood... it was interesting hahaha.

Okay, I think that's all I missed from last week so we can now move onto this past week :)

Baptism for Happy & Mikee
That's right! Happy and Mikee were baptized into the YSA this past Friday!!!!!! They are literally some of my most favorite people out here. Their conversion process has been amazing. Their Mom does not support them at all. Despite their family issues, they pressed forward and were still baptized and confirmed because they knew it was true and what God wanted them to do. Mikee asked me if I would baptize her and Happy asked me to confirm her. I am super humbled and grateful that they would ask me to do that for them :) They truly love the gospel and it has definitely changed their lives forever. 

YSA Activity at Flushing Meadows Park
Saturday was probably the most fun I have had on my mission!!! We had a super amazing activity at Flushing Meadows park and a TON of people came including a couple of our investigators and a few of our less active members! We we split up into teams and played a bunch of different games including a sack race, tug-of-war, water balloon fight, ultimate frisbee, and all that jazz! Sadly, my team didn't win, but it was SO FUN!!!  I love the Queens YSA so much! The members did such an amazing job fellowshipping the people we brought. Our investigators and less actives said they felt like they had just been adopted into a large family where everyone is their own age. Truly an incredible thing to have people outside the church feel the love of our Savior through the members of His church. 

Transfers are Tomorrow
Well, it has already been 6 weeks! I can't believe how fast this transfer just flew by! Crazy! AAAAAAAAAAANNDDD...........I am staying here in Astoria!! YAY! I love it here :) However, Heavenly Father has decided to keep my streak of "one-and-ones" going on making it so Elder Cubas is OUT! I thought for sure that we would stay together for another transfer, but I guess Heavenly Father wants me to get used to change. Starting next transfer, I will have had 10 companions in 10 transfers! That's insane! I am happy I get to stay here, though!

Miscellaneous Information :)
I found out this week that Brother Havig (member in the family ward) writes lines for Studio C for his job!!!!!!! That sounds like the best job ever!! Hahahaha 
SO many of the members are involved in music as their careers. There are a lot of actors on broadway, stage crew directors, vocal performers, orchestra directors, Play-writes, etc. It is super fun to ask people about their jobs here :) 

Lots of great stuff is taking off here! Found a few great new investigators who are starting to progress. It is awesome to be a part of :)

I love you all! 
Elder Snell
1-3) Mikee & Happy's Baptism
4-5) I found the caterpillar from A Bug's Life!!
6-7) We found this guy outside while we were knocking one night!
8 Last district picture!
10-25) YSA activity in Flushing Meadows Park and the Unisphere!!!!
26) I ran into Tony and Aira (recent convert and member) from Rego
Park while we were walking home last night!!!!!!!!!!











Monday, August 14, 2017

You Can't Believe Everything You Find On The Internet

Hey, Everyone!!!! :)

I apologize for the super lame email this week. I super procrastinated
because we had a breakfast party for Elder Nixon who is going home
today. It has bee tons and tons of fun and I forgot to write my weekly
email....

I will share a super quick story, though! So, earlier this week we got
a Large Print Bible referral from Mormon.org for Vashti. We went to
her house and she invited us in to talk more about Christ with her and
her son. It was such an amazing lesson, and she absolutely loved the
message of the Restoration! Vashti accepted to read the Book of Mormon
and come to church. It was awesome! I already love her so much. SO
prepared! However, a couple days ago we got a text from Vashti that
was super heartbreaking... Basically, she searched up the LDS church
online and found a TON of anti-Mormon information and told us she does
not feel comfortable following our religion. Vashti won't respond to
us anymore and it is super sad, especially because I know she felt the
spirit while we were testifying to her of the Restoration of Christ's
gospel. At least we were able to plant a pretty good seed! Vashti will
come around at some point :)

The YSA sisters had a baptism Friday!!! WAHOO!!! It is super
amazing to see the missionary work here growing day by day. It has
been a slow process, but it is definitely growing :) Happy and Mikee
are getting baptized this Friday too!!! I am so excited for
them :)

Well, that's about all I have time for. I hope you know how much I
truly love you all. Have such an amazing week!

Elder Snell



There are a ton of Spanish Women who set up small little grills on the
street (often times on a shopping cart) and they make AMAZING meat
kabobs!




video



Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Air Conditioning: A Modern Miracle

Hey Everyone :) :)

This week was amazing!!! I just got back from the temple a little bit
ago, so I don't have a lot of time to write. I will try to be super
quick though hahaha

First off, exactly one year ago from today, I hit the mission field!
August 9th was the day I got Elder Jensen as my trainer and started
off in Plainview! Crazy how time flies (I feel like I say that every
week)!

I guess I will just tell you a little bit about the pictures :)

I got the first two from someone else, but I took the rest of the
pictures of Manhattan!! Orfatt, recent convert here who Elder Jensen
(my trainer) baptized, lives right next to the East River, overlooking
Manhattan! He invited us over to his place for a lesson (which we had
on the roof top of his 35 story apartment! He also showed us around
the park next to his place. It was awesome! I got some really sweet
pictures, too!! :)

The next grouping of pictures is from my exchange with the Assistants on Monday
 and yesterday. I was with Elder Brown for the exchange. It
was amazing! We had a pretty solid lesson with their investigator,
Hope. Theses adorable kids wanted to sit right between Elder Brown and
I during the entire lesson! They were SO cute! Definitely one of my
favorite exchanges I have been on.

Best for last: I went to the Manhattan Temple today! It was so amazing
to be in the temple again. I have really missed that place. Elder Jensen joined us on
our temple trip! We talked the whole time. It was really cool to sit
with him during the session and in the Celestial room. I love him to
death and can't believe it has already been a year from today that we
met!!! I am going to miss him tons! I feel like he's my brother :)
well, another exciting thing about the temple was that the air
condition was super broken! As we were walking into our session room,
the temple workers passed out envelopes for us to use to fan ourselves
during the session! After our session, the officiator told us that it
was 92 degrees in the room we were in! Crazy hot!!! Everyone was
sweating hahaha! Definitely a first for me. I love the temple SO
much!! I am so grateful for the opportunity to go to the house of the
Lord! I am also super grateful for the miracle of air conditioning.

Well, that's about all I have time to write this week. A ton more
happened, though! Haha oh well..

I love you all and hope you have an amazing week!

Elder Snell